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BMW Launches its First SIM-equipped Motorbike

David Murphy

bmw bikeBMW has launched its latest performance touring bike, the K 1600 GT. It’s the first BMW model equipped with an optional eCall service via the Vodafone SIM card on board.

The BMW ConnectedRide eCall/ACN (Emergency Call/Automatic Collision Notification) system uses networks throughout Europe to get help to accident scenes as quickly as possible and improve road traffic safety. Over 2.5m BMW cars are already digitally connected by Vodafone as standard.

“The first BMW motorcycle with the eCall system shows just how many possibilities there are for the Internet of Things, and this is just the beginning,” said Vodafone Internet of Things director, Ivo Rook. “It is estimated that by 2020 around 20bn devices will be sharing data.”

The Vodafone IoT SIM card sits under the bike’s seat. It ensures that if the bike is involved in an accident, the ConnectedRide system can immediately contact the BMW call centre. Developed by BMW, the system has various sensors that monitor the bike’s speed and angle to identify when it is involved in an accident and trigger an emergency call.

The rider can also use an SOS button on the handlebars to contact the BMW call centre. At the same time, other important information such as the bike's location is transmitted. Depending on how severe the accident is, the BMW call centre alerts the emergency services or attempts to contact the driver via the bike’s built-in audio system. BMW estimates that this system enables first responders to arrive at the accident site up to 50 per cent faster.

Vodafone transmits the emergency calls Europe-wide via its international mobile communications network. When calls are made from abroad, the caller is assigned to a BMW call centre agent who speaks his language.